Saint Padre Pio’s relic to stay for 1 day at IC3

PUB­LIC VEN­ER­A­TION

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By Ador Vin­cent S. Mayol WRIT­ING ED­I­TOR

Peo­ple will have 24 hours start­ing to­day to ven­er­ate the un­cor­rupted heart relic of Saint Padre Pio at the IC3 Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

Un­like the pre­vi­ous days when ven­er­a­tion ended at mid­night, the sa­cred relics of the Ca­puchin priest will be ex­posed to the pub­lic from 6 a.m. to­day to 6 a.m. the fol­low­ing day to al­low throngs of peo­ple to pay homage to the saint’s heart.

Cebu Aux­il­iary Bishop Den­nis Vil­larojo will pre­side over the Mass at 6 a.m. on Sun­day be­fore send­ing off Saint Padre Pio’s un­cor­rupted heart to Davao City—the third stop of the relics’ 20-day Philip­pine visit.

Peo­ple came in droves at the Cebu Metropoli­tan Cathe­dral where the relics stayed from Thurs­day to Fri­day.

Dur­ing the Mass be­fore the un­cor­rupted heart was trans­ferred to the IC3 Con­ven­tion Cen­ter on Fri­day, Palo, Leyte Arch­bishop John Du chal­lenged the peo­ple to make room for God in their lives and to get rid of what­ever self­ish­ness and ha­tred.

“Our hearts were cre­ated by God so we can ex­pe­ri­ence His love. Hu­man be­ings were made by God not to hate peo­ple but to en­counter God, to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him,” he said.

“Our hearts then were not made for sin or to hate or get jeal­ous,” he added.

Like St. Padre Pio, Du said ev­ery­one should let God reign in their hearts so as to over­come man’s sin­ful in­cli­na­tions and weak­nesses.

“Hu­mans are prone to sin. But if we al­low Je­sus to rule in our hearts, then we can over­come sins. St. Padre Pio tells us that the only way to be happy is to love God,” he said.

“Let us ask our­selves what is in our hearts right now? Is it beat­ing for love of God and neigh­bors? Or is it full of our­selves, anger, greed, and the longing for wealth, ma­te­rial pos­ses­sions, and other self­ish agenda?,” the bishop added.

The Philip­pines is the fourth coun­try vis­ited by the heart relic of St. Padre Pio, af­ter the United States, Paraguay and Ar­gentina.

A con­tin­gent of devo­tees from the Na­tional Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Batan­gas flew to Italy to fetch and ac­com­pany the pre­cious relic to the Philip­pines.

The Lu­zon leg of the visit last Oct. 8 to 10 was hosted by the Arch­dio- cese of Manila; the Visayas leg, from Oct. 11 to 13, by the Arch­dio­cese of Cebu; and the Min­danao leg, from Oct. 14 to 16, by the Arch­dio­cese of Davao.

On Oct. 17, the heart relic will be brought back to Batan­gas province where it will stay be­fore leav­ing the coun­try on Oc­to­ber 26.

The visit of St. Padre Pio’s heart relic co­in­cided with the Ital­ian priest’s 50th death an­niver­sary, as well as the cen­ten­nial an­niver­sary of the ap­pear­ance of the stig­mata or the wound marks of Je­sus on his palms, feet, and side.

Padre Pio, a Ca­puchin priest in Italy, was known for his char­ity and love for God and neigh­bors.

CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MEN­DOZA

The heart relic of Saint Padre Pio ar­rives at the In­ter­na­tional Eucharis­tic Congress Con­ven­tion Cen­ter (IC3) on Fri­day at Barangay Mabolo in Cebu City.

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